When traveling to Carmel most people envision Carmel By The Sea, but one must not forget the Carmel Valley, an area that highlights a more rural pastoral landscape. If you are a wine lover, many of the wineries have their tasting rooms in this valley. One such winery is Holman Ranch.
An ideal time to visit is as fall sets in and the trees turn to amber. Carmel Valley is a lovely setting to enjoy the autumn months, and Holman Ranch with its tranquil grounds is the perfect place to either have a fall wedding or enjoy tasting wine while taking in the breathtaking views and the beauty and romance of the landscape.
Located at the northeastern tip of the Carmel Valley appellation, Holman Ranch is family owned and consists of the Hacienda, guest rooms, pool, fitness center, winery, riding stables, and, of course the magnificent vista. One will love meandering through the olive groves and vineyards.
History of Holman Ranch
The Holman Ranch has been a guest ranch for 88 years. The original Mission Style home was built in 1928 by owner Gordon Armsby. It was considered “Casa Escondida” or the “Hidden House” as lovely old oak trees surrounded the home, making it a secluded retreat. The estate became the hideaway of many a celebrity over the years.
In the 1940s, Clarence Holman became the owner of the property, hence the name Holman Ranch. The property became the first resort in the Carmel Valley.
It was in 1989 that the first vineyards were planted, and horse stables were installed. In 2006 the current owners, Thomas and Jarman Lowder and Nick and Hunter Elliot purchased the property, restoring and refurbishing the ranch to make it the ideal location for a retreat or wedding. Their winery facility is known as The Caves. Holman Ranch is also recognized for their estate wines and olive oil. In addition to their Holman Ranch wine label, they also produce Jarman Wine.
Weddings at Holman Ranch
For the bride and groom, this is a beautiful place for a destination wedding. The green lawn leading up to the Veranda with its wonderful view is an idyllic setting for a wedding ceremony. There is something very romantic about the spot.
A beautiful vine-covered pergola sits nearby, adding to the romanticism of the spot. It an ideal location for an enchanting outdoor meal against a backdrop of the setting sun.
The Hacienda has a small chapel. The guest suites with their rustic charm add to the total ambiance of the Holman Ranch. These are quite comfortable accommodations.
Carmel Valley Winery
The Caves facility is entirely underground, providing a natural cooling system and the perfect environment for nearly the entire winemaking process.
The winery’s south-facing location, providing the inland warmth and the marine layer that permeates especially in the early morning, creates an excellent environment for producing Pinot Noir and Burgundian varietals. Holman Ranch is certified Organic and Sustainable utilizing green practices throughout the winery and vineyard.
Holman Ranch is known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Rosé, and Sauvignon Blanc. In the past year, Holman has created a second label, Jarman that specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Jarman honors the spirit of Jarman Lowder, who lost her battle to Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. Partnering with Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, a portion of the proceeds from the sale Jarman wine goes to this organization. Greg Vita is the winemaker for both labels.
Favorite Holman Ranch Wines
Beginning with the 2014 .5% Brix Pinot Gris. This Pinot Gris has a little late harvest Sauvignon Blanc added to give the wine more tropical aspects. It is bright, crisp with sweet tropical and citrus flavors. The aromas are those of grapefruit.
The 2013 Virgin Chardonnay is very fresh and crisp, with flavors of lemon and pear. This is an unoaked Chardonnay hence the use of the term virgin.
The 2013 Sweet Love is a blend of 75% late harvest Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Pinot Gris. I found a wine with viscosity and a flavorful tropical bent.
Two Pinot Noirs stood out from the others. The 2013 Jarman Pinot Noir with its dark fruit flavors and the 2011 Heather’s Hill Pinot Noir, which is the most elegant of all the Pinot Noirs. With flavors of cherry, this wine represents Pinot Noir grown on a hillside.
With the winery and the romantic beauty of this property, one could not think of a better local to create special memories by tying the knot and spending the first couple nights of marital bliss at Holman Ranch.
Holman Ranch Tasting Room
7th Avenue, between Dolores and San Carlos
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Tasting Room Hours:
Sun-Thurs: 12-6 pm
Fri-Sat: 12-7 pm